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It feels like just yesterday when a scrawny young quarterback replaced Drew Bledsoe as the Patriots quarterback, and suddenly here we are 15 years later celebrating his 39th birthday. Tom Brady is no regular old athlete who is beloved by his fans, he is a legend, a hero, the staple of homes every Sunday in New England. I cannot express how fortunate I am to call myself a Patriot fan, and how lucky I am to be able to have this man as my quarterback.  So trying to list my favorite Brady moments/performances could take hours, but for now I'll stick to my top five.

5. Brady leads Patriots to miracle 24-0 comeback vs Denver (2013)

No matter what anyone says, when the first half came to a close with the Patriots trailing Peyton Manning's Broncos by 24 points nobody in their right mind genuinely believed there was any hope.

In one of the ugliest 30 minute periods of football I have ever seen the Patriots play, given the extreme conditions and stellar Denver defense, there was no reason to believe this game wasn't over. That was not the case though. As we all know, Brady came out in the second half absolutely firing. Quintessential Brady simply refusing to quit and eventually leading the Patriots to an improbable victory totaling 3 touchdowns on 344 yards. 

4. 2007 Regular season

This is one helmet catch away from probably being number one on this list. 50 touchdown passes, 16-0 regular season, Brady at his absolute best. Fresh off of spygate, Brady and Bill Belichick were ready to shut up any doubter or nay-sayer out there and what a pleasure it was to watch. The fire in number 12's eyes every Sunday that season was simply incredible.

3. Patriots vs Bengals week 5 (2014)

Fresh off the worst performance of the Brady-Belichick era in a Monday night beat-down at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, Brady was under attack. Whether it was Trent Dilfer saying he and the Patriots are "not good anymore" or Donavan McNabb saying his time in New England is just about done, it was clear Brady was unaffected by it.

As someone who has never missed a Patriots game in 15 years, it was easily the most locked in I have ever seen Tom Brady. From the opening drive to the final whistle Brady didn't miss a beat. This performance allowed New England to take a giant collective sigh of relief and realize, this team and this quarterback were going absolutely no where but up.

2. Super bowl 36 vs St. Louis Rams

 How could I possibly not include this on the list? Just two years after falling to the sixth round of the NFL Draft, here was this kid Tom Brady orchestrating a game winning drive to win the franchise's first Super Bowl. Any other coach in the same situation would play for overtime, but Belichick chose to put the football in Tom Brady's hands, and the rest is history.

1. Super Bowl 49 vs Seattle Seahawks
 There was absolutely nothing more satisfying than Brady and the Patriots finally capturing their fourth Super Bowl ring. Down by ten in the fourth quarter, Brady needed to be perfect down the stretch. He did just that playing the best quarter of football of his career, against a fantastic defense. Easily the most crucial win of Brady's career, and absolute text book Brady, fighting every play. Standing in and taking hit after hit, doing what he does best- delivering in the clutch.

It's been an honor watching Brady play over these years, so here's to another 39 years to a man who still has a whole lot left in his tank.

Matthew Schlegel 8/03/2016 06:52:00 PM Edit
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